BWW Review: HAMILTON ~ Spectacular! The National Tour Keeps The Flame Alive
The National Tour of HAMILTON has arrived in ASU Gammage and will be casting its phenomenal glow on the Phoenix region through February 25th.
What more can be said about a production that, since its opening three years ago, has already received the ultimate in honors and plaudits and for which the best adjectives have already been used?
Yes, awesome, glorious, uplifting! All of that and more!
But, beyond the WOW! WOW! WOW! of the performances (to be acknowledged later in this review), what reigns over this show is the sheer magnitude and depth of Lin-Manuel Miranda's artistic vision; the poetic range and creativity of his composition; the innovative boldness with which he relates the tempestuous relationship of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr and, through their narratives (with a level of historical accuracy that is remarkable), the story of America's birth as a nation (the personalities, the politics, and the compromises that forged a brittle union). There, too, is the human element of the man ~ his ego, his vision for the new nation, his romances, and his tragedies.
Although the distance between then and now spans nearly two and a half centuries, HAMILTON is not without its political relevance, rapping to the fragility of a nation still divided by differing perspectives on the role of government; striding the fault lines of race, culture, and diversity; and vulnerable to demagoguery.
Can there be a more timely and relevant affirmation of the seminal role of those "yearning to breathe free" than that between Lafayette and Hamilton at the decisive battle of Yorktown than this!
Hamilton and Lafayette as one: We get the job done!
How pointed the role of the British monarch who disbelieves a people's capacity for self-governance and self-determination, trusting that they will inevitably return to his fold (the hilariously rendered You'll Be Back), only to be defied!
In its unique form as a history lesson, HAMILTON is also a hymn to the revolutionary spirit and the insatiable desire to fulfill possibility.
So, back now to the brilliant performances! This touring company of HAMILTON, directed by Thomas Kail, is blessed with a sensational cast, each of the thirty-nine members deserving mention, because each, whether principal or ensemble, is a dynamic presence in the interpretation of Miranda's music (supervised by Alex Lacamoire) and Andy Blankenbuehler's choreography:
Austin Scott (Alexander Hamilton) and Nicholas Christopher (Aaron Burr). Julia K Harriman (Eliza Hamilton). Sabrina Sloan (Angelica Schuyler), Amber Iman (Peggy Schuyler and Maria Reynolds). Chris Lee (Marquis de Lafayette and Thomas Jefferson). Isaiah Johnson (George Washington). Peter Matthew Smith (King George). Mathenee Treco (James Madison and Hercules Mulligan). Ruben J. Carbajal (Philip Hamilton and John Laurens). The Ensemble: Ryan Alvarado, Amber Ardolino, Raymond Barnard, Dan Belnavis, Amanda Braun, Daniel Ching, Karli Dinardo, Jeffery Duffy, Hope Endrenyi, Jennifer Geller, Francesca Granell, Jacob Guzman, Jennie Harney, Afra Hines, Sabrina Imamura, Alex Larson, Jennifer Locke, Dorcas Leung, Yvette Lu, Desmond Newson, Desmond Nunn, Elizabeth Racanelli, Antuan Magic Raimone, Josh Andres Rivera, Willie Smith III, Raven Thomas, Ryan Vasquez, Keenan D. Washington, Andrew Wojtal.
Bravissimo to all!
Poster credit to ©HAMILTON THE MUSICAL